Expect Expectations. Please. Hearts Depend On It.


It’s that holiday. Again. Feel like it was just here? If you didn’t take advantage of our December gift giving guide, no worries. We’re here to help.

Valentine’s Day fills many with hope, excitement, love, and passion. And for some, especially men—dread. Here are 5 tips to be sure you not only expect the expectations but also meet them. Maybe even surpass them.

  1. Have a gift. Any gift. Do not show up empty-handed. Even if you BOTH agreed not to get each other anything, for your heart’s sake and their heart’s sake, show up with something. The comment, “You don’t have to get me anything,” in our relationship consulting world, is a throw away comment, meant to absolve you of being accountable on Valentine’s Day. We want you to do just that: throw it away. You must have a gift. Period.​
  2. Have a gift ready by this Saturday. Any woman will immediately sniff out a last minute purchase. They know the exact shelf life of any item bought after February 10th, even on Amazon. Saturday or worse, Sunday, shopping will look like December 26th at Walmart. Hurry, you still have time.
  3. If you haven’t made a reservation for a restaurant or special place by now, you might be in trouble. Improvise with stopping in at a favorite bar and maybe having hors oeuvre’s before going somewhere else. Stop in at several places, nibbling at each one. Culinary foreplay. Tell him or her that you are having a moveable feast on Valentine’s Day because (your) love is a verb. It moves.
  4. Reframe. Think about the first time you were together. Recreate a moment or a meaningful conversation when you first got together. Put together a montage of Valentine’s Day photos if you’ve been together a long time. Smile and be ecstatic. Passionate. Your happy mood will go a long way to make a memorable Valentine’s Day. If you’ve just begun your relationship, the endorphins are already soaring, so you’re already ahead of the curve.
  5. Our favorite: a heart-shaped box of chocolates. Remove the cellophane and toss all but one of the chocolates. Eat them if you want, or set them aside. Fill the remaining holders with jewelry, a key chain, love note, movie tickets, sporting event tickets, concert tickets, future date at a restaurant, massage or spa coupon, a coupon for a complete house cleaning, a weekend getaway, a girls or guy’s night out. You get the idea.

Make Valentine’s Day a day and night to which you all look forward. When you expect expectations, you’ll usually exceed and excel. Happy Valentine’s Day from the Relational Experts!

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Poppy and Geoff Spencer